Monday, 22 November 2010

All done and dusted

31.8 miles from Otterburn to Newcastle Keep was enough to see a successful outcome on the Rosewill Cottage Castle to Keep Challenge.

Mike and Ian finished at 16:50 and I crossed the finish line at 20:20.

As I write this, unable to sleep, I'm in a blistered mess but that's 107.1 miles in mostly soaking wet conditions for you.

The full extent of the damage sustained is an inflamed right shin, horrible chafing, numerous blisters and feet that generally feel like two clubs of meat with little movement in the toes. In other words, nothing I haven't experienced before during distance of this kind. It's bringing back memories from the first few weeks when I ran from John O'Groats to Lands End back in 2007.

It's only as I've come to stop running that the pain is at it's worst.

Pain aside, I can't tell you just how pleased I was with my performance over the 3 days. Energy levels never wained. Hydration was spot on. Out of the 107.1 miles done, I ran all but a few hundred yards. I also took very few breaks choosing to attack the huge mileage each day (36.3, 39 and 31.8).

The route itself was very tough with climbs out of Edinburgh, out of Stow, up to Carter Bar and out of Otterburn providing particular challenges. It's one thing to run 107.1 miles in 3 days but to do it in cold, dark, wet and dangerous conditions and up and down some fantastic terrain, borders on insanity.

The run panned out just as I thought it would and, as a result, I found myself pretty well mentally prepared for it. I had a bad spell from mile 30-35 on day 2 but nothing a few friendly text messages and a phone call home couldn't cure.

Over 12 hours of running 39 miles on day 2 was very tough indeed. It made today's 31.8 seem easier in comparison.

I'll take stock over the next few days and try to figure out exactly how I managed to run that far just 6 months after breaking my ankle and with only 3 months of training.

In the meantime, thanks to Carlton for some absolutely first class road side support. Thanks also to Mike and Ian for some good banter and for adding a lot of running class to the event.

Thanks also to the kind folk who donated via and You helped get the overall total up to £19,220.34.

The immediate challenge now is to try and get some sleep. It's going to be easier said than done in this world of pain I'm in.